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ISL: Goa desperate to win against Mumbai (Preview)

Mumbai, Oct 20 (IANS) Struggling FC Goa will be battling to stay relevant and avoid an unwanted distinction in the Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament when they face Mumbai City FC here on Friday.

Since the tournament's inception in 2014, no team has gone without winning in the first five matches. Should FC Goa lose or draw against Mumbai, they would become the first team to achieve the dubious distinction.

But they have experience of turning things around, qualifying for the semi-finals after having just a point from four matches in the 2014 edition of the tournament.

This time too coach Zico remains confident that they can turn the corner, especially against a team that has remained winless in the last three matches.

"We are playing well. Even in games which we have lost, we could have had different results. We lost at least two matches largely due to our own mistakes rather than the merits of the other team," Zico said during the pre-match media briefing, according to a release.

Goa's concern will be a porous defence, which has conceded seven goals, the most by any team. They also have offensive issues, scoring just a goal from open play.

They will bank on fond memories of hammering Mumbai 7-0 in a home match last season.

Mumbai are a transformed team this season under new Costa Rican coach Alexandre Guimaraes.

They settled for a 3-3 draw against Delhi Dynamos in the last game, are placed second on the points table with eight points from five matches and will look to move to displace NorthEast United FC from the top.

"We played a very good match. These kind of games are good for the health of the league," said the Costa Rican coach when asked, if he was disappointed that his side surrendered a two-goal advantage twice against Delhi Dynamos.

Just like FC Goa, Mumbai's strikers too have failed to fire.

Majority of their goals have come from the wingers or midfielders.

The coach confirmed that marquee player Diego Forlan will return to action after missing the last three games but there was no word yet on Anwar Ali and Leo Costa, both of who were injured in the last game.

"FC Goa don't deserve the results that they have right now. They have played courageous, brave, attacking football and this is what I am expecting tomorrow. This is the way FC Goa qualified during the first season and made it to the final last year," said Guimaraes.

"This is football; sometimes it happens, but we know that when the opponent comes to play a game with this kind of necessity, it's always more dangerous. We have to be cautious."

--IANS

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